Friends of Irish Freedom

Today The Pensive Quill carries a statement by the Friends of Irish Freedom


Founded in New York, in 1916, the Friends of Irish Freedom's purpose has been to support Irish Republican prisoners and their dependents. By 1950, the organization had faded. In 1970, experienced, established Irish Republicans in New York City founded the Irish Northern Aid Committee (Noraid). After the 1986 split amongst Republicans in Ireland, in 1989 members of Noraid, dedicated Irish Republicans, saw "the writing on the wall" regarding (Provisional) Sinn Fein. Friends of Irish Freedom (FOIF) was then revived.

Since then, FOIF has supported Irish Republican prisoners & their families, working with Sister Sarah Clarke, the Tyrone Prisoners Dependents Fund, and others. FOIF supports Republican Prisoners regardless of affiliation. For over 20 years, FOIF has assisted prisoners in England, Ireland, & the USA.

  • FOIF hosts the largest annual Easter Mass & Commemoration in the United States
  • FOIF is the only prisoner support group in the New York City's St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
  • FOIF runs numerous memorial ads, articles, and letters in American newspapers, publicizing the plight of Irish Republican Prisoners and raising awareness.
  • FOIF organized protests at the British Consulate, most recently during the fall of 2010
Friends of Irish Freedom is an active, committed organization with a long history. In its ranks are many respected activists with strong connections to Ireland.

FOIF has never been asked by any group in Ireland to raise money on their behalf. FOIF does not give money to other organizations; donations are given directly to families only. FOIF is an all-volunteer, independent Irish American organization. Its independence is valued.

Christmas Donations

As it has done every year, FOIF organized Christmas donations for prisoners' families. The committee determined that each child that FOIF was aware of would receive $50, and the remaining funds would be divided among single prisoners' families at $75 per man. It is the belief of FOIF that prisoners with children need more support than single men. 19 prisoners were selected from an incomplete list of current prisoners. FOIF sent Christmas cards containing the donations to each family. The 19 cards written by FOIF members were individually addressed and sealed.

In the 22 years that FOIF has been donating money for prisoners' families, there has never been a problem.

This year, FOIF's Christmas money was delivered by hand before Christmas Day to a trusted, respected Republican. The donations were NOT delivered TO or FOR any organization. The recipient of the sealed envelopes contacted us to confirm the arrival of said envelopes.

By first week of January 2011, FOIF had no word the 19 envelopes were delivered to families. FOIF contacted some families to ask if they received our money. None had. This caused concern.

On Monday 10th January 2011, a press release was issued by the Republican Network for Unity (RNU) stating Christmas cards with donations from the USA were confiscated by PSNI in a ‘raid’ in Belfast at an RNU member’s place of business. It transpires that Belfast RNU Spokesperson Carl Reilly was in possession of FOIF's money when this ‘raid’ occurred.

This news was a shock to FOIF as money was not given to the RNU. It was not known why FOIF's money was in Belfast in a place of business. FOIF immediately tried to reach the person in Derry to whom the money was entrusted. FOIF received no communication from the RNU about the ‘raid’ or the status of our money and what transpired.


FOIF has a number of questions regarding what happened to its donations:
  • Which cards were taken by the PSNI
  • Why were FOIF's donations in Belfast on the 10th of January in a place of business
  • Where the remaining 10 cards were (FOIF heard the PSNI took 9)
No answers were forthcoming. Only that FOIF persisted in contacting people in Ireland did some information come to light. All the effort was on FOIF’s part - the RNU never came across. It is disgraceful that FOIF had to make all the effort to ascertain what occurred and that the RNU made NO effort to inform us. FOIF is troubled that it learned of this ‘raid’ via a press release.

In response to FOIF's persistence, an email sent to the RNU National Chairman by Belfast RNU Spokesperson, Carl Reilly (who was in possession of our money when the ’raid’ occurred), was forwarded to FOIF. In it, Reilly said he did not have to explain anything to FOIF, nor did he intend to waste his time talking to us. There were additional insults in that email.

The RNU National Chairman told Reilly FOIF deserved an explanation.

Reilly's response:
Some of the other envelopes were delivered to the pows cara. The prisoners envelopes were sent to Derry after Cathleen was TOLD NOT TOO send them there but to me, SHE ignored this, the envelopes then sat in Derry over the christmas period as getting them to me over the festive period was difficult and the fact that we had the worst weather condtions in 135 years! They were not in a taxi depot they were in the Cafe, Cathleen needs to stop ringing Charlotte Natarintonio for info as it was her who told her I own a taxi depot! I opened the envelopes because she decided to only send to THREE out of the TWELVE pows that we look after, I opened them in the presence of TWO members of the RNU leadership and put the money together and divided it equally between all twelve, I will not allow Cathleen to treat any pow differently!

If Cathleen wants to know were the envolpes are? they are in the custody of the RUC!!! Cathleen has made more of the fact that I had the envolpes than she has of the RUC stealing them!!! John Bradys envolpe like the others is part of the RUC raid! Cathleen can rescind permisson all she likes for FOIF name to be used....RNU has its own pow department now and hasnt used the FOIF name in some time!!! I do have her email and number, I will not be wasting my time talking to a crackpot! If Cathleen has ANY issues with me or how things worked out over christmas, tell her to contact ME!!! ps plz forward this email to her if you wish cara!

Previously, in November 2010, Carl Reilly told FOIF on the phone that FOIF were “to take orders and directives” from him. He stated on the phone FOIF was to have no contact with anyone else in Ireland but him. He stated all money raised for prisoners by FOIF was to be sent to him. He refused to send FOIF a prisoners list. FOIF's response was to tell him in no uncertain terms that “FOIF is an independent organization and takes ‘orders’ from no one”. He was told FOIF does not send money to organizations.

It has been confirmed that Belfast RNU Spokesman, Carl Reilly, opened Christmas cards addressed to prisoners' families containing money. He opened envelopes for families not affiliated to his group. He has claimed he only opened cards the PSNI were confiscating. We were told by the RNU National Chairman that Reilly opened envelopes before the raid. Reilly's email to the RNU National Chairman confirms this.

FOIF's cards and money are none of Reilly’s or the RNU’s business as it was not sent to them. This breach of trust is cause for concern.

Since the ‘raid’ took place, FOIF has been unable to determine if all families received their money.

It has also been brought to our attention that three Belfast RNU members have been slandering FOIF on the internet.

One Belfast RNU member stooped so low as to claim FOIF lied, and sent empty cards while claiming all cards contained money.

FOIF was not informed by the RNU that PSNI returned the cards and money. This was heard from other sources.

Some of the donations have since been handed over by Carl Reilly to a respected Republican who is in contact with FOIF. FOIF is grateful for her assistance.


FOIF still has unanswered questions that need answered by the RNU: where the rest of the money is and what exactly they did with every card.
  • One card contained $350.00 dollars for a prisoner's seven children; when it was finally handed over by the RNU - that card was missing $150.00.
  • FOIF included a card with money for the children of the late John Brady. This card and money was still missing as of Sunday 6th Feb. 2011. FOIF has not yet received confirmation of its arrival.
In addition:
  • FOIF learned Belfast RNU members are claiming FOIF treat prisoners differently. This is a lie. FOIF treats all prisoners the same.
  • Belfast RNU members claimed FOIF posted a list of prisoners on remand on the internet. That is a lie. FOIF does not have a website yet and has never listed prisoners' names on Facebook.
  • A Belfast RNU member posted a list of prisoners who in a statement allegedly said they did not want their names used and do not wish to receive money from FOIF. Some of those prisoners' families were sent Christmas envelopes by FOIF with money enclosed. FOIF does not know if their families ever received them. Those donations have not been returned to FOIF if, in fact, their families do not want them.
The actions of members of Republican Network for Unity in Belfast have raised serious questions and caused great concern.

Private cards were sent to prisoners' families -- not to any organization.

No one had any right to open those cards except the families they were addressed to.

All prisoner support groups in Ireland are well aware of Friends Of Irish Freedom. They are also aware of US laws and restrictions. If any support group wanted more prisoners' families to receive support they simply could have sent FOIF a current list of prisoners.

It has been agreed by FOIF members that if, as alleged by Carl Reilly, there are any prisoners who do not wish their families to receive support from FOIF, we will indeed honor their wishes.

It is important to also note that the RNU representative in the USA stated that all existing Republican support groups in the USA are to be closed down and work under the RNU.

Friends of Irish Freedom will not be intimidated by attempts to slander and threaten emanating from of certain elements within the RNU.

Signed by FOIF Officers and Christmas Drive Committee

C. McLoughlin, National Chairman
J. McLoughlin, National Secretary
K. Montague, National Treasurer
C. O’Brien, National Trustee
C. Canty, Raffle Chairperson
E. Griffin
R. O’Brien
M. Moore
C. P. O’Brien
M. Donnelly
M. Pastor
M. McKenna
K. McLaughlin
P. McCarthy
K. Gavin
J. Burgel
J. Montague
T.J. McLaughlin

The 19 prisoners whose families were sent Christmas cards:

Colin Duffy = 6 children x $50 = $300.00
Kieran Doran = 7 children x $50= $350.00
Damien McLaughlin = 2 children x $50 = $100.00
Harry Fitzsimons = 2 children x $50 = $100.00
Sean Carlin = 2 children x $50 = $100.00
Sean O'Reilly = 2 children x $50 = $100.00
Damien McKenna = 2 children x $50 = $100.00
Mickey Walsh = 2 children x $50 = $100.00

John Brady's children = 2 x $50 = $100.00

Willie Wong = $75.00
Paul McCaugherty = $75.00
Martin Corey = $75.00
Turlough McAllister = $75.00
Tony Rooney = $75.00
Sean McConville = $75.00
Brendan Conway = $75.00
Gerard McManus = $75.00
Joe Barr = $75.00
Philip O'Donnell = $75.00


  1. The money sent to my son, Turloch McAllister, still has not been received and we are now in the second half of February. We've had no contact whatsoever from RNU to explain any of this, no contact at all.

  2. My initial reaction to this is of anger and disgust. if there is theft involved then I hope whoever is responsible is caught and dealth with,

  3. I would love to hear from the republican who recieved these cards and monies in the first instance,this person should be able to shed some light on this whole stinking affair,

  4. This is shocking indeed. Don't understand why the envelopes were opened? Telling part for me is

    'It is important to also note that the RNU representative in the USA stated that all existing Republican support groups in the USA are to be closed down and work under the RNU.

    Friends of Irish Freedom will not be intimidated by attempts to slander and threaten emanating from of certain elements within the RNU.'

    Good on you FOIF, maintain your independence

  5. AM-

    I know one of those prisoner's well
    when i read this i went over to his family to tell them about this,

    As far as they are aware their
    relative never receive'd any card from F.o.i.f nor any dollers [ not the fault of F.o.i.f ]

    I would not open a prisoner's
    envelope in front of 200 spectators

    this smell's like corruption

  6. Marty and MartyDownUnder:
    I have personally known the officers of FOIF for over 20 years and their honesty and integrity are above reproach, especially when it comes to money for political prisoners and their families.

    This type of unacceptable behavior plays right into the hands of the Brits. U.S. based Irish-American organizations are not in the habit of taking orders from overseas and shouldn't be subject to that type of intimidation by anyone to begin with.

    FOIF has outlasted the majority of other Irish republican organization in the USA and they do an overall excellent job with keeping Irish-America informed of the injustices still going on in the north of Ireland; not to mention their intense support for political prisoners and their families.

    Irish republicans coming over here need to take a step back and realize this is not Belfast or Derry. They are certainly welcome to work along with all those in the USA who support the same goals for a re-united Ireland and support for the prisoners, but use some common sense in doing so.

    I certainly hope for the sake of the prisoners and their families this incident gets resolved immediately.
    The last thing the prisoners or the “cause” needs is more division. We need to build “unity” otherwise we will self-destruct.

  7. Helen ,

    Agreed, though I'm not sure of the whole story here, I know some good people involved with RNU. The last thing that republicanism needs is further division considering the state it is in at present.
    However the part (if true) I don't like is how RNU wants all groups in the US to work under them. This sounds remarkably like how the shinners tried to railroad everyone into Friends of SF.
    As I said though, don't know the whole story and would like to hear from RNU on this

  8. depressing. it reads like a 'throwback' to bad old days long ago.

  9. MartyDownUnder:
    Everyone has their side of the story agreed. And as we all know this has been the tactic of PSF in the past and the last thing we need is a repeat of it.

    I personally have absolutely no dealings with the RNU so I won't judge them, where for 20 years I have had dealings with FOIF.

    Whatever the story is, on either side, this matter was handled very poorly, and let's face it, Irish-Americans are very used to the "abuse" given to us from those abroad as they feel they are the ones in control and we need to "step in line" in order to exist. It isn’t gonna happen anymore! John McGirr put it perfectly clear when he said "the other side asks for Irish-American help, but then when they don't want our input anymore they dismiss us".

    Whatever the problem is here needs to be sorted out by those involved. It is to the benefit of all those involved that we "unite" under one umbrella to get the job done!

    I am so tired of all this in-fighting. It has gone on much too long and that’s what the Brits count on. I can’t even remember when was the last time the Irish were truly united? Look at what Egypt was able to accomplish by joining forces. I’m sure there were all sorts of varying political differences, but they joined together to accomplish a goal.
    When will the Irish learn to do the same?

  10. Larry,
    'depressing. it reads like a 'throwback' to bad old days long ago'.

    Agreed. I see the problem simply as everyone wants to be a "Chief" and no one wants to be an "Indian".

    For as long as I've been involved in Irish 'affairs', the Irish have been divided and continue to do so to their own detriment.

    I have been a long time admirer of the "Solidarity" movement in Poland and I always felt that if the Irish could put their own differences aside from one another...they could achieve what Poland achieved and they could beat the Brits at their own game and take back the 6 counties and re-unite Ireland once and for all.

    Call me an "idealist" or a "day-dreamer" but I do believe if the Irish united for just one common goal, that of a re-united Ireland, they could accomplish it and then settle their political differences after the fact? Correct me if I'm wrong.

  11. Helen
    admire the fortitude of people there when so much has gone under the bridge and people here have become cyinical. [ none more so than myself ]

    I dont at this stage have the heart for all this stuff or the 'struggle' as it is now constituted. But I will contact one of the prisoners brother in Lurgan today to give him a 'heads-up' about the article and issues raised on the Quill here.

    I've no doubt the lads in Maghebery and elsewhere will be boosted by any support from the States.

    In relation to a united Ireland, yes it would be terriffic in principle. I looked at the names of risoners on this list yesterday and then thought about the Dail TD's and their salaries at 30yrs+ a time. It is hard not to get nullified.

    Fair play Helen i wish you well.

  12. This is cringeworthy stuff argh... and depressing...
    I know what I sent to who I sent & knows they got it cos i sent it seperately and directly. Me i trust no-one with money stuff NO-one. You never know who is gonna rollover you just never know so i never take the risk
    And sending money dont make ANYONE a bigshot or bigger better or holy or whatevers...
    It is just shameful that this is all exposed for the world to see the people who were sent stuff. Shit! NB Lower socio economic ppl and those doing time and their families are entitled to their dignity... and rights to privacy...
    I would hate some wanker to post up those who helped me in hard times It is private stuff NOT for gawking, droolin, gimme me a morsel of gossip consumption... and wild speculations...
    SHAMEFUL STUFF... Shame Gossip and collusions and who knows what the fuck is going on... It is the circus called Ireland Shameful to read this shite on your blog Anthony.

  13. Helen "I,m so tired of all this infighting"exactly what those who planted the seeds hoped for, people and activists like yourself getting bogged down on internal matters "squabbling over money and as you say chief status"distracts from the real issues i.e, Irelands right to be a whole unit,prisioners,etc,we need to be stronger than those who wish to inflict internal damage by such methods hon, I for one am of the opinion that it should be made unambiguously clear to anyone getting involved in financial affairs esp prisioners welfare, that unacountable discrepancies will not be tolerated and the penalty for such will be far harsher than the sum involved,we need imo to inject a lot more backbone to these issues to support the superb work people like FOIF and other do on behalf of the republican cause.Dont let scumbags distract you from the excellent job your doing hon chin up.

  14. Helen you may be interested in todays headlines in the Irish News hon Feb 16th I believe I can hear you say "AH"

  15. The whole thing becomes murkier and murkier.
    On FOIF's facebook page last night the following was said to me by an RNU member who thought it would shut me up:
    "jim the money you received for turloch from newry friends of maghaberry pows was raised only with the help of *****.
    did not hear you complaining then"

    and my response;
    “I'm sorry to have to tell you that I received NO money from that function nor did the family of the only other local prisoner, a Newry man. Not one penny did Turloch or that chap get and, funny enough, people have been asking... recently where that money went. Maybe you could find out because I guarantee you, you have just opened another can of worms. That money was raised in the name of POWs but I have no idea where it went except to say again that not a penny went to my son or to the man from Newry. Ask some of the Newry people where it went, I 'd be very interested to know because this is getting more rotten by the minute."

    The problem is that certain people are claiming that money is being given to prisoners and their families when it is not. When the families or the lads do not even know the claim is being made what can we do. If we, as I did, tell a respected Journalist, when asked ,that our man received no money the likes of this happens ; posted on IR.Net along with lots of other rubbish ,
    “Likewise, Jim McAllister and Cathleen O'Brien are using this issue as an excuse to 'attack' RNU for their own political/personal agendas, that's life. However, the reality is vastly different because no Irish Republican group and/or person stole POWs' money - FACT!
    Did the POWs' get the money or not? Yes, they did!! …In all walks of political life, there are those who oppose certain groups and parties and use whatever they can to discredit their opponents, so let's be a little more honest here...
    M Meehan 1.10 pm 15/02/11”
    We are accused of having agendas because we tell the truth.
    Shameful business.

    16th of February and still no card or money for Turloch and no word from whoever is supposed to have it.

  16. Helen
    Mandy Duffy emailed to say they are aware of the ongoing story there and to sing the FOIF praises. Also for me to pass on thanks to Mackers for posting the article.

    Just letting you know.
    Sincere best wishes.

  17. Jim we met a good few years ago at the Ard Fheis,1984 I think I was with Pat Rice from Camlough ,I think you,ll agree Jim that this is the legacy we all have inherited from the collapse or sell out of the republican struggle,nothing but in some cases death and misery, some peace dividend eh mo cara, best regards to you and yours,

  18. Anyhony I am reading that the memorial stone bench to the Dark in the Cooley mountains has been destroyed.BASTARDS!

  19. Helen
    forgot to add Collie recieved money ok.

    surely the SF wouldnt 'stoop' THAT low, if you'll excuse the pun...?

  20. Larry one thing we can be sure of is that whoever destroyed the Darks bench,were not republicans, and its a sure sign of how much they fear the Darks memory ,something they should fear!

  21. marty
    i see you're at the 'anyhony' instead of the anthony there a rationale to these freudian slips??

    there's something sick about the bench business and i'd never have expected it in that area. It's all gone pearshaped.

  22. P.S. Larry something they should fear,but no sledgehammer can ever destroy!

  23. LOL Larry to cocky with this one finger typing,this is my excuse for the moment,I,ll see what the shrink says ,may have to come out though!lol I just noticed that mistake, Anthony hon any chance x sorry mo cara for going of thread here .

  24. "...they could achieve what Poland achieved" - and what exacrtly HAVE they achieved? Becoming a nation of migrant workers/ homeless beggars and prostitutes in the West? Country in ruins, unemployment rages, industry and agriculture destroyed...You must be joking. How can anybody living HERE and knowing how Western mass media can lie, still believe that Eastern Europe has become "free"?

  25. Marty;
    1984, that's a while ago and a very relevant date in terms of the current discussion if we think of Orwell's 1984.
    I can't recall much from that ard Fheis but Pat was always a decent man. He came originally from south Armagh.

  26. my mrs in stitches. gerry 'A' was just on the news in dundalk again denying he was ever a 'RA-man.
    thats about all RTE showed. CLASSIC.

  27. Marty,

    What's the story in The Irish News? Have to pay to view online. As for the scumbags that wrecked The Darks monument, as you said they're not republicans that's for sure

  28. Marty-

    Sounds like you want to blame the
    legacy of the peace process to give
    an excuse to r.n.u for with-holding
    prisoner's christmas money

    To say that it was hoods who vandalised the brendan hughes memorial bench would maybe sound to
    simple- but i would agree with Marty that they were not republican

    The republican plot in belfast was
    also attacked with sledgehammer's before- could be idiot's looking
    for revenge against republican's-
    sometimes our enemys don't see any
    difference's in what-ever republican group.

  29. The Dark's bench could be a number of things including sheer vandalism for the sake of vandalism; On a neighbouring hill is the Fathom viewpoint where a series of tables and benches, maps of the area and so on, all finely created out of stone have been destroyed on a monotonously regular basis for years.

  30. I would say this was either someone local with a grudge against Republicans who resented the memorial being placed there or some scumbags passing in a car who saw it and returned with a sledgehammer to smash it.

    The thing is the monument on up the hill hasn't been touched and I'd say the reason being is it can only be reached by walking up a track and climbing over a wall into a heavily overgrown area which at night would need a torch and would risk the nearby house being alerted, there would also be the fear of dogs in that house and daylight would hold too many risks of being seen.

    The monument being by the road leaves the scumbags with a chance to stop, smash it and be off quickly. The best place for it would be where the present monument stands with perhaps a sign pointing out it's whereabouts on the road itself.

  31. Martydownunder;Headlines; Group votes for dissident linkup. reported by Allison Morris; A dissident paramilitary group behind a number of attempts to murder police officers has acquired a political wing,at its Ard fheis in west Belfast RNU voted in favour of publicly linking itself to ONH,security sources have described ONH as the most active and dangerous of the present crop of dissident paramilitary organisations,it then goes on to give an account of ONH actions ,it says ONH have been closely linked to RNU for some time.however it is understood that members of RNU based in the republic were keen to cement the link while those in the north argued that any association should remain clandestine for security reasons,but a majority of around 100 members at the Ard Fheis in Conway Mill last month voted in favour of sending" comradely greetings to ONH"...Martin Og Meehan RNU spokesman denied RNU would act as ONH,s political wing but said it supported the paramilitaty groups" analysis of the current situation" he goes on to say "we would not condem those involved in disciplined actions against occupying british forces,so this is not a massive shift in our thinking" thats basically it Marty headlines sell newspapers ..hope this is helpfull mo cara.....

  32. Larry,

    saw him on lying there about never being in the Ra. It is all the other parties causing trouble for him.

  33. mackers
    thing is he's damned if he denies damned if he comes clean. lovin it.

    you dirty let me walk up and down hills in Donegal for todays Irish News over an article covering a third of the front page. Wife near had me on the massage table after that. Then you copy paste it for martydwnunder..yer BAD!!

    you must be well in the know. treatment like that..
    yeah i read the article above here and immediately thought, oh my God, this sounds all too familiar.
    But surely if republicans are trying at cohesion it has to be good eh?

  34. Thanks very much Marty, ONH are the group that chased the hoods in St James last year right? Honestly, I'm sure it's been said before, but it's all becoming more and more like The Life Of Brian.
    Regarding The Darks monument it seems a bit to close to his anniversary for it be entirely random vandalism

  35. Jim, I met you at Dwayne O Donnell's wake in Galbally in 1991 when I was only a lump of a cub. Your kind and thoughtful conversation has always remained in my memory and it was little surprise to me that you would be a Republican who stayed true to principles over profit and self gain as opposed to local and less local, bearded lumineries.

    The unfolding revelations regarding misdirection of money donated to prisoners, in both Ireland and America, highlighted by FOIF and yourself are shamefull in the extreme.

    That those who owe explanations to the Republican community offer only half-truths, threats and villification of respected and veteran Republicans is telling indeed.

    I have also met Cathy O Brien in the American home of the late Margaret Devine. She struck me as a decent and dedicated Republican and she is highly regarded by veteran Republicans who have firsthand experience of her generous donations of time, money and effort.

    Jim McAllister and Cathy O Brien aren't regular fixtures in the Sunday World. No spooky elements wish to boost the profiles of dedicated and decent Republicans.

  36. Saint?MaryHedgehog
    'It is just shameful that this is all exposed for the world to see the people who were sent stuff. Shit! NB Lower socio economic ppl and those doing time and their families are entitled to their dignity... and rights to privacy...I would hate some wanker to post up those who helped me in hard times It is private stuff NOT for gawking, droolin, gimme me a morsel of gossip consumption... and wild speculations...
    SHAMEFUL STUFF... Shame Gossip and collusions and who knows what the fuck is going on... It is the circus called Ireland Shameful to read this shite on your blog Anthony'.

    I totally disagree with your take on this article. What transpired is unacceptable and needs to be exposed.
    In the past, this unacceptable behavior by some unsavory characters in various Irish republican groups was kept quiet for the reasons you mention here. However, I believe by not exposing them back then,only led them to become more defiant, more threatening, and encouraged more mismanagement of other people's money.

    As for the posting of the names/amounts, I can only assume the author of this article was trying to make sure that all those who were to receive the cards/money were aware of what they were supposed to have received? You'd have to ask them.

  37. marty,
    'Helen "I,m so tired of all this infighting"exactly what those who planted the seeds hoped for, people and activists like yourself getting bogged down on internal matters "squabbling over money and as you say chief status"distracts from the real issues i.e, Irelands right to be a whole unit,prisioners,etc,we need to be stronger than those who wish to inflict internal damage by such methods hon'

    I totally agree marty. It can exhaust you and waste necessary energy that can be applied to what really matters elsewhere. I thank FOIF for their courage to bring these issues to the forefront and I respect The Pensive Quill for giving them a platform to present their dilemma. I hope it works out for all concerned.

    'admire the fortitude of people there when so much has gone under the bridge and people here have become cyinical. [ none more so than myself ]'

    I feel the same way at times Larry, but it's people like yourself, marty, MartyDownUnder, Antoin, John McGirr. Finnuola and many more more who post here, who are keeping the faith too regardless of being cynicial at times. It's the young men who are still willing to give their lives for self-determination agains all odds. The constant reminder of the 10 young men who died on hunger strike and those before them. It's the courage of Gerry McGeough who stood on an anti-psni platform, knowing he wasn't going to win the election, but had the courage to stand up and challenge SF. That's what keep us all going. Sort of a debt we owe to those who unselfishly gave their lives for what they believed in and those who endured obscene prison sentences for their beliefs as well. It is my respect for these people who help to keep the fire burning in me. Not to mention I don't believe the British government should have any control over so much as a piece of Irish soil.

  38. Glumdalclitch said...
    "...they could achieve what Poland achieved" - and what exacrtly HAVE they achieved? Becoming a nation of migrant workers/ homeless beggars and prostitutes in the West? Country in ruins, unemployment rages, industry and agriculture destroyed...You must be joking. How can anybody living HERE and knowing how Western mass media can lie, still believe that Eastern Europe has become "free"?

    The Solidarity movement rid Poland of a repressive communist regime and adopted a "self-governing republic' without armed struggle. That is what I admired about the movement. As for the rest of what you have stated here, all I know is that Poland
    "According to the Central Statistical Office of Poland, In 2010 the Polish economic growth rate was 3.8 %, which was one of the best results in Europe" I would need to read up a bit more on the issues you have outlined here in your post in order to discuss in more detail.

  39. Jim its away of the thread I know but seeing you post here has brought back memories, yes Pat is from outside Camlough and a few good days I have spent in that part of the world, his father was a gentleman and he gave me a piece of advice once which is relevant to us all here who are in this for the long haul,"time and patience will take a snail to Jerusalem"best regards Jim.

  40. February the 17th and still no card delivered by RNU to my son or to me. Urgency not a strong point in RNU.

    Marty, yes, the top of Sturgon Btrae is where Pat was born and raised. It was a big family on a very small holding but every one bar one became teachers.

    JamesConnolly; I remember the wake all right, another sad day among many and now it's hard to reconcile what we have today with what we thought we all believed then.

  41. Marty, I like your 'time and patience will take a snail to Jerusalem' saying but the big problem is that by the time the snail reaches Jerusalem it may well be a totally different Jerusalem than the one poor old snailly set out to reach and one he didn't want to go to in the first place. Let's hope it's still Jerusalem, though.

    One a lighter note, I was just driving along the road there from Cross' to Cullyhanna 20 mins ago and saw a great big hare which was almost completely white, the first white hare I've ever seen or heard about outside balladry. He crossed into a field then stopped and looked back at me as if to say 'g'wan about yer business.'

  42. Would giving RNU a GPS help? Perhaps they would then not get quite so lost and realize money in Derry doesn't necessarily have to leave Derry and return via Belfast! I know that probably sounds confusing but I think the underlying tone is clear!

    Cathleen can't talk to anyone in Ireland but Carl Reilly??? Please her family was involved in this while he was still in diapers and before!

    Friends of Irish Freedom has my total support as always and is the best!

  43. Jim I,m more inclined to think that hare was saying top of the morning to you and good luck,and to think it wasnt that long ago I,d thought nothing of shooting such creatures, old age may have put her hand on me mo cara but she must have kissed some gentleness in as well,they are becoming such a rare sight these days,thats also correct about Pats family ,met a good few of them, been a hell of a while snice I,ve been in S,Armagh,Larry mo cara the reason that I have you running up and down those Donegal hills is so that you,ll be a bit fitter when I have you in the Leitrim hills chasing sheep,

  44. Marty;
    here's sth armagh song from the hare's point of view.

    Granemore Hare.

    Last Saturday morning, the horns they did blow,
    To the green hills 'round Tassagh the huntsmen do go
    To meet the bold sportsmen from around Keady town,
    For none loved the sport better than the boys from May Down.

    And when we arrived they were all standing there,
    So we took to the green fields to search for the hare.
    We had not gone far when someone gave a cheer.
    Over high hills and valleys the puss she did steer.

    With our dogs all abreast and that big mountain hare,
    And the sweet sounding music it rang through the air;
    Straight for the black bank for to try them once more,
    And it was her last sight 'round the hills of Granemore.

    And as they trailed on to where the pus she did lay,
    She sprang to her feet for to bid them goodbye.
    Their music,it ceased; and her cry we could hear saying
    Cursed be the ones brought you May Down dogs here.

    Last night as I lay content in the glen
    It was little I thought about dogs or of men,
    But when going home at the clear light of day
    I could hear the long horn that young Toner did play.

    And it being so early I stopped for a while ,
    It was little I thought they were going to meet Coyle.
    If I had known that I'd have lain near the town,
    Or tried to get clear 'round those dogs from May Down.

    And now I am dying, the sport is all done.
    No more through the green fields 'round Keady I run
    Nor feed in the glen on the cold winter's night,
    Or go home to my den when it's breaking daylight.

    And my curse on McMahon for bringing Coyle here,
    He's been at his old capers for manys the year.
    From Friday to Sunday, he'll never give o'er,
    With a pack of strange dogs 'round the hills of Granemore.

  45. you've seen my mrs Marty, you know there'll be no chasing required, i'm finito'd!!

    i'm only on here because after about 15yrs of near total disinterest the blog appeared in the Sunday press after Nassareen.
    i dabble to keep up to date and chew the fat. No desire for political involvement these days.

    The episode here has me in wonderment that decent souls like yourself stil abound and depressed more than a tad at what i see.

    For me yesterdays RNU ONH 'merger' if that's what it was signifies the long route by none conformist republicans into constitutionalism in their turn. FF did it the sticks did it and SF did it. Nothing i see justifies those galant lads on the above list being where they are today. Not for one minute. Stormont+the Dail aint goin away you know, IMO. Even if change was realised, good men die and turds float, we'd be back to square one in no time.

    maybe i'm out of order here or my judgement off kilter...if so someone enlighten me please.

    in the meantime Helen, more power and strength to you. may i ask a question?? i shall anyhow, FF who just destroyed this country in 14 yrs worse than the Tans could have and who have a 'conservatively' estimated 1000 Irish youth emigrating PER WEEK are intending to draw on the diaspora in the USA in particular to invite people 'home' to a ' GATHERING' [holiday] in 2012 to assist an economic recovery. FG are even going to address the American public.
    Q. how do you think Irish America will view that?

  46. Jim
    used to love hearing you on the radio in the 80s. had many a pint in donnellys and the light+easy.
    just wondering is the tune of that song 'The Master Mc Grath'tune lol.

  47. @ Helen the whole debacle is pathetic & hardly warrants attention really other than ho hum usual crap rerun Shades of the past revisited.. Anything good coming from it? Hardly... but i know what i think of FOIF
    F is for fucked
    O is for off the air,
    I is for a do gooder yank havin’ a spasm
    F again? Fucked up fund raisers.
    The whole article comes across like a pack of histrionic idiots C. Obrien “ i will call the pOlise if they threaten me again” in the Belfast rag. haha touch theatrical... that’s right Catherine trot off to Officer Plod cos u dealing with big bad thugs and millions of bucks... Catherine knows the pOlice are the picture of integrity and uprightness cos she a decent citizen. (always very telling when someone says i agonna call the coppers..) Catherine is (insert drum roll) A fundraiser for the boyos.. a concerned citizen for the welfare of Irish republican prisoners and their fams... (who is this auld moll i ask – do some work for your boyos in the Big House in the States Catherine, wind your stupid head and mouth in) The mere fact it all ended up in the press is even more telling... And Jim in here flapping his gums about it all comes across like an old woman hanging over the back fence with a morsel of gossip. Expect more depth and maturity from u Jim. Bit long in the tooth aint u to buy into this crap. Rollon Irish freedom from rancid old tarts, decrepit two faced fools, burnt out republicans , and truckloads of spooked hysterical gossip... I have no respect left - not a morsel. Yay for non censorship Nexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxt....

  48. Larry, pints still available in Donnellys and the Lie and easy but all the pubs are very quiet now, different scene now,

    Here a link for that song and it's sang well'hope it works but i'm not great at this stuff.

  49. St Mary Hedgehog,this old burnt out rep did his bit for the cause a few moments ago, I gave that f##ker Eddie a right royal salute in Kennedy way a wee while ago,the ignorant f##ker was to busy texting,but his minders didnt seem to pleased ,never seen as many blue lights in my life ,thought Mickeyboy was buying drink,so I may be getting a free trip to the tower very soon,if they intend to hang me ,my last request will be "put the noose around my belly as I,ve a boil on my neck"

  50. saint?maryhedgehog

    might i ask your opinion/response on behalf of the diaspora in Australia as to what you think of FF + FG idea of regenerating the economy the Dail destroyed by inviting people like yourself 'home' for a 'GATHERING/HOLIDAY' in 2012.
    particularly in light of 1000 young people presently leaving each week at to a new life because FF wrecked Ireland?

    i await with interest.

  51. Larry,

    Should I be expecting an invite in the post then (saying as i'm from the black north and might not count in their eyes) and are they going to pay for the flights?

  52. Martydownunder coming back here reminds me of the guy who drowned in a beer brewing tank,yeah mo cara apparently he climed out 3 times for a piss before he drowned.

  53. Yep Marty that sounds like me, any time I've been back i've fallen into that beer brewing tank!
    I have sympathy for the latest batch of exiles from Erin, victims of a rampant greed that has well and truly bit the south in the arse, but like many whos future was a live time on the rock n roll due to living with the wrong postcode I've no regrets for leaving.

  54. @ Marty jokes & waffle & my vitriol aside I’ve no doubt u have given your all and to live to see what is now, must be the most gutwrenching, enraging feel on one... Re your comments... There be imo - no noose or incarceration needed any more.. they have just crushed the people, destroyed the spirit of resistance and mocked all the pain, integrity and suffering that has been... Divide and conquer at its hideous peak in a new way.

    @ Larry Hughes RE ‘might i ask your opinion/response on behalf of the diaspora in Australia as to what you think of FF + FG idea of regenerating the economy the Dail destroyed by inviting people like yourself 'home' for a 'GATHERING/HOLIDAY' in 2012.particularly in light of 1000 young people presently leaving each week at to a new life because FF wrecked Ireland?’ I cannot speak on behalf of anyone but self. Re the gathering holiday even the title is cringeworthy is it not. A frantic attempt to garner interest, support and money into Ireland and is the final insult coming from those who wrought the devastation.... NB I also think this article here and the hysteria over it is directly related more to the financial pressure people are under as it be just blown all out of proportion into something monumental... and people r buying into it... Says much that they do... There is no pride left just sadness and anger on the many and fragmentation. Those who are young need to leave to get a life – who can blame them... It i think is when they are older they will grasp what was perpetrated on them... see the big picture. Cannot see the frame when one is in the picture... Everyone has to survive in this world and do what they have to to get there. The gathering should be titled $Funeral for Eire $ pls make a donation if u can and try dreg up some patriotic fervour and ignore how we got here...

    @martydownunder there will never be free fares let me know if there are ahaha not that long hell flight is unbearable as one ages... I think frantic, embarrassing attempts like come to Ireland folks lookithere – kulcha! Orish, your heritage etc and no doubt more on the backburner to come - to inject money into the economy by appealing to Irish of disapora and promoting culture... but it will not change a thing for those unemployed, homeless, those whose homes will be repoed, the poor will suffer even more and the despair is on the place... more suicides, addiction and domestic violence related to poverty will ensue. The health services creaking under the load as they do already... It is totally tragic. The pinch is happening here in Oz marty and undercurrents of tight times well on their way... . U did the right thing at the right time – one of the fortunate... Re ‘latest batch of exiles from Erin, victims of a rampant greed’ - yes it be tragic stuff with long term ramifications in every facet. Good job the Irish are well liked in Oz ain't it else they would be experiencing what some of the Romanians did in the North...

  55. martydownunder and saint?maryhedgehog

    great posts, just what the Dr. ordered. [Not mackers, the abstract Dr.] I'll ponder those comments on the skool bus.

    yes Martydownunder you are in a 'better place' and not even dead yet. ha ha. I saw on RTE vatican tv 40 young ones are in perth from Manorhamilton co. Leitrim with similar stories in countless other towns recently. I wonder can poor Australia suffer it or need it?

    Maybe they should 'GATHER'every TD with more than ten years service sic [most of em have been in the Dail bar for 30yrs+] stick them in a container and place them with the British nuclear waste wherever that goes. just an idea...

  56. larry,
    "may i ask a question?? i shall anyhow, FF who just destroyed this country in 14 yrs worse than the Tans could have and who have a 'conservatively' estimated 1000 Irish youth emigrating PER WEEK are intending to draw on the diaspora in the USA in particular to invite people 'home' to a ' GATHERING' [holiday] in 2012 to assist an economic recovery. FG are even going to address the American public.
    Q. how do you think Irish America will view that?"

    Larry, are you saying the "invite" is strictly a one time venue to boost the local economy by bringing in "tourism" from America at this holiday gathering? I'm not sure I totally understand? Or are they trying to intice the diaspora in the USA to return home for good?

    I'm not quite sure how IA would feel about either issue, except for the fact that a good majority of Irish-Americans have a very strong affinity for Ireland and see it as their 2nd home, so to speak. A good number of Irish-American even carry dual citizenship.

    For some reason FF has always had a very large following among the more "elite" IA here? These "elite" supporters raise a lot of money to help FF during elections. So I would think their response would be a positive one. Then again, the US economy is suffering just as badly and that could have a negative impact on the response as well.

    It's a terrible thing when people are forced to migrate in order to survive economically, especially when corrupt and greedy politicians are the cause of the economic downfall forcing that migration.

    I hope I answered your question, based on how I understood it?

  57. Saint?MaryHedgehoG a Chara,

    Your statement is Mad! You must be turning into a dry ould frustrated cailleach, with that sort of a rant!.

    I'm not one for thsi old boy network thing but I'm very glad Jim McAlister and FOIF brought this out into the open. In fact thats one of the problems with Ireland. Its as sick as its secrets and the place is full of them.

    How can young republicans choose the right path without understanding who and what they are getting involved with. Would you allow your children to be led by an organization that can't deliver X-mas cards by mid February ? Would I trust their lives or mine with the series of excuses and management we have witnessed, I would go so far as to say Jim and FOIF may well have saved a few lives by bringing this out into the open. WHO'S AFRAID OF THE TRUTH ?
    Do we give a fiddlers what the Brits think ? I mean they are fucking up every day, themselves anyway !

    No I trust the truth ! I'm sick of the secrets, talking out of the sides of their mouths. Talking behind peoples backs. Character assassination,back stabbing, etc, Its time for it to stop and people to talk out straight to people's faces, like proper women and men and not like crawling two faced slaves and treacherous cute whores !

    I have the utmost respect for the good people in the States who gathered all of this money, worked to keep the cause and faith alive since Fenian tmes. I as an Irish person am indebted to them in the same way as my heart goes out to the parents who have sacrificed their sons and daughters to British Gaols and early graves for the cause of self-determination in Ireland and a future of freedom not slavery!

    MaryHedgehog you have a great spirit but sometimes you say truly daft stuff !

    beir bua,

    brian clarke

  58. irishblog
    Brian, ive been in the states several times and it scared me how important money is every second of the day there. Anyone gathering anything there is doing a truely great job. Those giving cant afford and if they can they certainly don't do it without due consideration.
    Fair play to those who do so there, that's my verdict. RESPECT.

  59. Helen
    yes it is a one off holiday experience to boost hoteliers and the oirish economy, whilst 1000 per week are heading off. Was just curious about your take on it. Thanks.

  60. Larry,
    Than I did understand you correctly. The Irish at one time were considered the largest illegal immigrants in the USA. Ireland and the UK never provided for them to have any type of future. I think the Irish, by far, are one of the most educated and intelligent people I've met, and yet they have had little opportunity for a future without migration.

    Years ago I read a book called "How the Irish Saved Civilization" and I never forgot it.

    I think the majority of American's of Irish decent, have no clue as to what is really going on in the north or the south. For whatever reason, they pledge themselves to support anything Irish because of their heritage, but don't seem to have an in-depth understanding of Ireland's tragic history or its political and economic dynamics.

    Outside of the few years of economic bliss, when the Irish were returning home for jobs because Ireland was becoming the new 'silicon valley'; and its economy was being labeled the "Celtic Tiger," I can't remember when the north or the south of Ireland had much to offer their educated young.

    Please correct me, Larry, if I'm off base.

  61. Helen
    I'd say you're bang on the money. The crazy thing is the amazing lack of reality among politicians in the south. I suppose 30yrs at a stint in the Dail breeds a feeling of insular safety, complacency. Total contempt?

    Fact is in 90yrs they have consistently wrecked the place whilst feeding themselves like pigs at the trough. Rather than address the running of a 3.5 million population they are already thinking MONEY whilst the youth of the country depart in droves all around them. Even after all the free money from Europe we have no landmark of note, no opera house a la Sydney, no tower as in effort. We have hundreds of ghost housing estates and a needle. All wasted, now bankrupt. If you take a bus tour round Dublin you are looking at what the English built, [hundreds of years ago] not what we built. You have to go to the empty housing estates to see what we've done.

    The IRA were shooting the wrong people here. It seems by the talk 'between the lines' which is the only way you can get a morsle of truth; this IMF thing is estimated to be good until 2012, then there's going to be another major problem and a further fall. It aint over yet. A good time for a gathering, just in time for the ship totally submerging.

    At 47 yrs old, I have neither the time nor the stomach to put myself through angst for the likes of those turds in both Irish houses of bullshit, Stormont and the Dail. But I do think those who are in Jail desrve support even if I personally feel they are on a wasted mission. Constitutionalism has them where it wants them for now at least and the political scene has a population nullified. Dangerous times.

    SF if it had held it's principles or even some of them could be in a good position just now. But their North South strategy merely exposes the duplicity and lying that so many republicans have been aware of for a decade and a half.

    Perhaps the only way to wake TD's up here would be to make it uncomfortable for them in the USA. They run over there all too often getting fetted whilst this country lays in ruins. Educate the diaspora about what these 'pigs' are doing in oirland.

    Republicanism needs to 'haul ass' into 2011. Get out of the 1916/21 mindset. Charlie Haughey, Albert Reynolds, Bertie Ahern and Cowan and Martin are what stepped into the void after 1916. Sure glad I didn't die for that. Anyone listening in Maghaberry? Shift in priorities methinks if yer going to be taken seriously.

    Just my obsevation, not trying to force anyone to agree with it.

  62. Larry this place is overlyripe for a proper revolution,pity those f##kers destroyed the weapons, mind you had we had a proper revolution !they would have been amongst the first to go against the wall!

  63. You have wonder where those true believers in the socialist revolution, the so called 'Army of the People', the sticks are now. Surely if thats what they wanted now would be the opportune time and if it's not now, when would it be?
    Nowhere to be seen, but you'll find a number of them in the free state labour party. Abandoned their past associates when they got the sniff of power. Wonder how many of the shinners will hang around once they have their foot in the door of the dail.